Sunday, October 21, 2012


We took our 4th graders for our Yosemite fieldtrip this past Friday.  It was a perfect, early autumn day, no students threw up on the windy trip up the mountain, no one got lost, and the ranger presentation was fabulous.  The students were thrilled because the Valley animals were out in force -- deer were strolling about everywhere, bushy-tailed squirrels were busy burying acorns and the jays and ravens swooped and begged for food.

Best of all, I saw my very first out-of-zoo bear.  I always seem to just miss them -- I will wander into groups of excited people on the path who tell me that, not thirty seconds before, a mother bear and her two cubs went by.  This seems horribly unfair, as I know for a fact that I'd appreciate seeing them far more than any of them ever would.  I'm just saying.

The bear is the brown blob to the left of the tree
But on Friday my luck finally changed.  The ranger who had given us the presentation came running after us as we started trekking across the meadow.  She told us that there was a bear in a nearby tree and she wanted us to see it.  So we enthusiastically went trotting after her, only to discover that the bear had scooted down the tree and taken off.  Ranger Sharon was very apologetic, and I was in the midst of telling her that I was used to this and, honestly, it was really exciting to almost see a bear -- when she narrowed her eyes at a group of people looking at something off the trail.  It was the bear.  He was a young bear, snuffling and shambling at the base of a large oak tree.  He looked up at it a few times, and then, suddenly, he was bounding swiftly up the trunk I managed to click only two pictures before he disappeared in the upper branches.  That didn't matter -- I'd seen my first bear that wasn't caged or enclosed. 
Yogi scootin' up the tree!

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